Reading manager Brian McDermott has tipped Michael Hector to make the grade as a holding midfielder at Chelsea after his man-of-the-match display in the FA Cup.
The 23-year-old scored as the Championship side beat visiting West Bromwich Albion 3-1 on Saturday to reach the quarter-finals for a fourth time in seven seasons.
He also he made four tackles, won possession 16 times and drew three fouls after being moved from his natural position of centre-back for the visit of the Baggies.
McDermott, who left his role as a scout with Arsenal to return to the managerial post at Reading earlier this season, was very impressed by Hector’s performance.
And he feels that Chelsea, who bought him from the Royals for around £4m before loaning him back last summer, could use Hector in the same role in the future.
“He can play for Chelsea in that role,” McDermott is quoted by Sky Sports as saying: I’ve spoken to Chelsea about Michael playing that role and they’re happy.
“He can play centre-half or he can play holding midfield, I thought he was terrific today. He did a really good job and it’s good news for him going forward.”
Hector was a surprise deadline-day signing by Jose Mourinho in 2015, but could have a future at Stamford Bridge despite the Special One having been sacked since.
Long-serving captain John Terry is poised to depart, while Gary Cahill has hinted at leaving and fellow centre-back Kurt Zouma is out for at least six months with a knee injury.
Another Chelsea loanee – Brazilian playmaker Lucas Piazon – scored Reading’s third as they came from behind to knock out their Premier League opponents at the Madejski Stadium.
Guus Hiddink lavishes praise on Chelsea star: “He can do anything with his feet”
Man United & Chelsea target given £40m price tag despite recently celebrating 29th birthday
Predicted Chelsea XI v Man City: Pato to make debut in full-frontal Brazilian assault